On this episode of ‘Homeless in San Diego: Real People, Real Stories,’ host Greg Anglea, CEO of Interfaith Community Services, is joined by Holly Nelson, Carlsbad Clinical Outreach Manager. Holly also introduces Tom, who had spent eight years on the streets until two years ago when he began his journey with Interfaith.
As a LCSW (licensed clinical social worker), Holly discusses some of the challenges faced by Tom and many others who have experienced homelessness, including the struggles around falling into the cycle of self-medicating to ease the pain. Tom shares how he found Interfaith and met Holly, who in addition to helping with benefit enrollment, finding housing, and becoming sober, has also become a dear friend who he can count on. Tom's strength has paid off as he expresses how he feels when he looks around his home - "pure gratitude, these are my walls."
Calls to Action:
Advocate to local leaders to support programs like HOPE (Homeless Outreach Program Entitlement) and organizations like Interfaith, which can help people like Tom
Refer people to services - spend a little time to listen to someone’s story and if they have the desire to overcome homelessness you can refer services that can help them. Interfaith holds walk-in intake hours at the following locations/times:
Escondido- Betty and Melvin Cohn Center:
550 W Washington Ave., Escondido, CA 92025; (760) 489-6380
Walk-in hours: Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 11:00am, 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Oceanside- Coastal Service Center
4700 North River Road, Oceanside, CA 92057; (760) 721-2117
Walk-in hours: Monday - Friday, 8:00 am - 11:00 am (closed first Friday of the month)
Carlsbad Service Center
5731 Palmer Way, Suite A, Carlsbad, CA 92010; (760) 448-5696
Walk-in hours: Tuesday - Thursday, 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Treat people with kindness and respect - as Tom discusses in the episode, some people’s ridicule of homeless people can make life more difficult than it already is, and “after a whole day of this, it’s hard going to bed at night thinking how you have to do it all again.” A little kindness, especially towards someone who is receives a lot of judgement, can go a long way.